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examples of presidents who solved big problems by finding common ground with the other side. ronald reagan did it with a democratic-led house after a far more resounding second-term victory than president obama's, as did bill clinton, with a republican-controlled house and a republican-controlled senate after a more resounding second-term victory than president obama. both examples -- both of them -- illustrate the rare opportunity that divided government presents. president obama can follow suit or he can take the extremist view that both reagan and clinton rejected, by thumbing his nose at the other side and insisting that if republicans aren't willing to do things his way, he won't do anything at all. now, if the president's serious, he'll follow the leads of president reagan and clinton. if he's really serious, he'll put the campaign rhetoric aside, propose a realistic solution that can pass a republican-controlled house and a divided senate, and work to get it done. and if the president acts in this spirit, i have no doubt he'll have the support of his own party and a willing partner
-- ronald reagan as president -- worked together to make our tax code more logical, more equitable, and more efficient. ten years later, divided government produced a sweeping overhaul of our welfare system, under then-president bill clinton. conservative republicans joined with a democratic president to help millions of lower-income people break free of the cycle of dependency and despair. of course, we know we've had divided government. as i said earlier, we really had a status quo election in that sense. we've had divided government since january 2011 when republicans regained the majority in the house of representatives. the result over the last two years, sadly, it has produced legislative stalemates and bitter recriminations. why should anybody expect that things will be different going forward? i think, mr. president, what's different now from then is that republicans and democrats alike recognize we are at a crossroads, that our current fiscal path is unsustainable, and that we're either going to send the economy back into a recession -- unless we deal with the fiscal cliff and the s
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